Bakery Gives Rise to Web Following

Milan de Vries has baked six loaves of bread a week since buying a popular cookbook from San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery and Café two months ago.

He gives away most of the loaves, but only after taking photos that he posts on the Internet for fellow fanatics to critique.

The 33-year-old political organizer from Arlington, Mass., is part of a rising community of largely male home bakers who have become devoted to shaping and leavening, an obsession that has led some of them to share every crumb of their new hobby in online forums and Facebook pages.

Driving their passion for bread’s every nuance is “Tartine Bread,” the cookbook written by Chad Robertson, co-owner of Tartine Bakery. In the book, Mr. Robertson devotes 28 pages to a single recipe, his basic country bread. That is followed by more than 30 pages on “the basic loaf in depth” and slight variations on the recipe.

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